By: Deepa Gahlot, IndiaFM
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
If one watches Guru and does not particularly remember any single outfit Aishwarya Rai wears, it is actually a triumph for the designer. Stylist Nikhaar Dhawan has done a good job and resisted the temptation of being show-offy, except perhaps in the short portion in Turkey, where Abhishek Bachchan as a simple village boy, Gurukant Desai, working hard in an alien land at low end jobs is much too stylish - practically modeling a full range of jackets, suits and hats from the fifties.
Finally, as a powerful industrialist he is seen wearing safari suits, the comfortable but ghastly looking outfit, so favoured by bureaucrats at one time (mostly in the 80s and 90s). Anyone seen wearing a safari suit now-unless he is actually in a safari in the wilds of Africa-would be immediately dismissed as a fashion fossil.
Abhishek, also carries dhotis very well, so does Mithun Chakraborty in the role of a Gandhian newspaper baron. When first see, he is wearing a rolled up dhoti, socks, shoes and a broad-brimmed black hat! A perfect picture of a wealthy, eccentric Bengali gentleman, who wears what he pleases and doesn't give a hoot for style. In contrast the old money Parsi businessman, Arzan Contractor is seen in British style plus fours (which one reads about so much in PG Wodehouse novels) on the golf course and later in a linen suit, that would be trendy even today. Not to miss the scene in which he and his father are seen at a Parsi wedding in the traditional dagli and feta-a nice touch that.
Which brings one to Aishwarya Rai's outfits. She is first seen in the chaniya and backless choli which rural Gujarati women wear, for practical reasons of weather, and no thought of sex appeal. That Aishwarya looks undeniably sexy is another matter, even though the colours were not too attractive.
The sari she is wearing in the scene where she comes to see off Guru at the station is bright and embroidered, but after that till the striking black sari in the end, and some glittery costumes in the Bin Tere song, she is wearing saris and blouses that ordinary Gujarati housewives would wear, the fabric (from cotton to silk), the cut of the blouse and amount of jewellery altering according to her rising social status.
Guru would also send a shudder down the spines of the stylish-the very mention of the word 'polyester' - which in the "Only Vimal" period became an instant hit with the working classes for its easy maintenance and drip-dry quality, and got rid forever of the traditional fabrics, weaves and styles that Mumbai's vibrant migrant communities had brought the city. Polyester standardized everyone. In a scene in the film, a furious Mithun makes his peon strip off his polyester (from Guru's factory) uniform and fling it into the waste bin.... If only turning the clock back was so easy.